There has never been a Governor in Maine’s history who struggled as much with poverty as Paul LePage.
Homeless in his youth – looking for a place to sleep and something to eat – Paul LePage worked his way through school and college where he earned an advanced degree.
Later in life, taking time from his work as a Maine business leader, Paul LePage gave of his time to help others as a board member and active volunteer at Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.
As our Governor, Paul is working hard to ensure welfare is there for those who truly need it … for those who need a hand up; not just for those who want a hand-out. Paul’s goal to make sure we protect the most vulnerable people in our society. We also must protect the hard-working taxpayers of Maine who fund welfare with their federal and state tax dollars.
So Governor LePage has worked hard to stop fraud, waste and abuse in our welfare system and to ensure that programs are sustainable. Maine’s welfare programs should not cannibalize the state budget for education, roads, bridges and all other necessary state services.
He has proven actions speak louder than words.
There is more to be done. However we should be proud that Governor Paul LePage has instituted the most sweeping welfare reform changes that Maine has ever seen:
- Placed a new 5-year cap on some welfare benefits for those who can work, resulting in a 41% reduction in welfare cases.
- Quadrupled the number of cases referred for fraud prosecutions over the last year of the previous Governor.
- Removed Maine’s status as a “Sanctuary State” ensuring that Maine’s limited welfare resources are reserved for Maine people, not illegal aliens.
- Implemented the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness program to meet the needs of individuals with substance abuse or serious mental health issues who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
- Instituted drug testing for welfare recipients convicted of a drug related felony.
- Helped 778 individuals with disabilities, through the Department of Labor, to find employment. This put $13,808,875 total wages in their pockets from just October 2011 to September 2012 alone.
- Strengthened reporting laws for the better protection of children who are suspected to be victims of child abuse.
- Added funding for those who truly need it, assisting individuals with developmental disabilities who have been on waiting lists while others took funds.
- Imposed stricter sanctions on people who violate welfare rules.
- Implemented Unemployment Insurance reform to prosecute employers and individuals who cheat the system and commit fraud.
Reform Promised: LePage renews call for welfare reform at Ellsworth town hall
The Result: Grand jury indicts … on welfare fraud charges
“John Martins, the director of public and employee communications for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, said that since Gov. Paul LePage has taken office, he has made increased enforcement a priority in order to curb welfare fraud.”
Watch the WABI Channel 5 Story about Governor Paul and First Lady Ann LePage’s efforts to collect food for those in need during the LePage annual Blaine House food drive.